TO MY PARTNERS in MINISTRY
to the PEOPLE of HAITI
October 23, 2004
Blessings come in many sizes. I couldn’t help but to be reminded of that the other morning as I stood on the balcony of the Izidor home and looked out over the neighboring football (soccer) field. Two lone boys were there smiling up at me. Whenever a blan (white) person is within sight the vigorous waves begin and the smiles brighten. What caught my eye on this particular morning was how one of the little boys was dressed. He only had on a “big enough to fit his father” vest that belonged to a three piece suit and a pair of underpants. I couldn’t help to think of where that article of clothing came from and the fact that it probably was tossed aside by someone in the states who found it too out-of-date or no longer wanted. But to this little boy, it was a blessing, not just a small blessing but a BIG blessing. He actually had something to wear on that particular day!
I have seen blessing after blessing being poured out in Haiti in the last two weeks. It has been my privilege to distribute many, many shoes and sandals and many, many articles of clothing. Most of these came as donations from Michigan, New York, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio and Oklahoma. Many of you provided the funds needed to ship these items. Watching the people carefully select items for their families was almost an embarrassment to me. What we in the states had just tossed aside out of our abundance was bringing so much joy to the people receiving these items. Many of the donated clothes had come shipped in old suitcases. This too was a huge treasure for the recipients. Many homes have no closets or places to store one’s own personal “treasures” and now, finally, these people had a little space to call their own. We in the states have indeed been blessed to be a blessing. Thank you for being a part of this simple but much needed ministry to the people of Haiti!
There will never be enough shoes and clothes to go around. The need is so great. Please continue to help. Especially desired are the “in good condition” suitcases. In this particular situation I did not have nearly enough items for men, especially dress clothing. Your donations of gently used, summer-weight clothing is very much appreciated!
Life here in Haiti is so much more slow-paced than the hustle and bustle of the states. In many ways, it is a welcome change. In other ways, it takes some getting used to. Some days it seems that only one or two tasks are accomplished and then other days there is not time to do everything that needs to be done. I must remind myself to wake up each new day and ask God to lead me to the task(s) of the day. He has not failed to do so.
It was my privilege to speak at the chapel services for the school on Friday morning. It has become necessary to hold 8:30AM, 10AM and 11AM service, as the numbers in the school continue to grow daily. Each session fills the church from front to back with children, many of whom are not Christians. It is Pastor Israel’s great joy to have this wonderful opportunity of evangelism. It is the reason this school exists. My challenge was … what to talk about to over 1200 children, ages three to twenty. I remembered my mother telling me of a special Good Friday service held at her church. At that particular service, each congregation member was given a nail to drive into a wooden cross at the front of the church. This simple act reminded everyone of the incredible fact that OUR sins nailed Jesus to the cross, but OUR Jesus has forgiven us and promises us eternal life. Thank you God for reminding me of this illustration! Using a similar illustration, I headed into the chapel services. As I pounded in the first nail and asked teachers and students alike to do the same, I prayed that the message would touch at least one child in each service. I know it touched me!
You continue to be such an important part of my ministry. Your prayers sustain me! Your prayers sustain the ministry to the people of Haiti!
The children here are especially precious to me. I was again reminded how precious they are as I entered one of the rooms of the orphanage. There on the floor, crumpled near her bed was one of newest arrivals, Claudine. She was sobbing and no one was there to comfort her. I swept her up in my arms and took her outside to where the air was cooler and a breeze would fall on us. She relished the embrace, but continued to quietly sob. I don’t know what the sobbing was all about. In my mind, I thought maybe it was from loneliness and not yet quite fitting into her “new family”. Maybe it was something else. I just know that at that moment, I was where God needed me most – holding this precious child! Thank you God for this privilege! (Photo below!)
I will close this communiqué today challenging you to look for those special moments where you can serve our Lord! There is no greater joy!
God bless you and keep you in His care!
Missionary to Haiti & the Dominican Republic
Until next time ………….